Monthly Archives: February 2011

Featured Show of the Week

Album Review: Earth – “Angels of Darkness”

This is a reprint from Little Advances, thanks Denton!

Dylan Carlson is not a selfish bandleader. For the second album in a row, the avant-metal icon has ceded a hefty portion of the spotlight to an instrument other than his own. Carlson’s thick, glacial guitar lines were the focal point of the early Earth, stretched out over epic song lengths and frequently rolled out without much accompaniment. When Carlson reformed the band in 2005 after a nine year hiatus, re-imagining the project as a creeping doppelganger of Western soundtracks and Dirty Three post-rock, he ditched the metal but kept most of the minimalism. There were changes in the foundation, though.   The band expanded its palate on 2008′s The Bees Made Honey In the Lion’s Skull with the major addition of Steve Moore’s organ.  The spine of the band still consisted of Carlson’s guitar and Adrienne Davies’ patient drumming, but the organ brightened everything up.  Moore’s contributions were the most emotive parts of that album.

Prior to Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1,  Earth’s lineup shifted again.  Moore is gone, but his role has been more than adequately filled by Lori Goldston on cello.  Actually, that’s an understatement – the addition of Goldston to Earth 2.0 is absolutely crucial and has taken the reborn band to new heights.  Angels might not be as groundbreaking as Earth 2, but it’s the best product to come out of the band’s second run.

Goldston’s cello is mournful where Moore’s organ was bright, and it brings out the foreboding undercurrent that has remained present in the band’s work even after they ceased to resemble doom-metal or any related sub-genre. Carlson once again allows a side player to do the expressive heavy lifting, with the cello often sounding achingly close to snapping while the guitar lines remain slow and deliberate.  At other times Goldston sounds like she’s shadowing Carlson’s guitar, reverberating around his spare notes and adding heft even though this still isn’t “heavy” music.

It wouldn’t make too much sense to get into a track by track breakdown of the album, because it’s best digested as a whole.  This is the rare hour long album that feels about 20 minutes shorter than it actually is, a welcome surprise after Bees, an album that could occasionally drag.  This is an immersive listen through and through.

As much as I appreciate Carlson’s willingness to tinker with the formula, I would love to see this current incarnation of Earth stick around for awhile.  They’ve got such a unique chemistry that it would be a shame if this album and the incoming Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 2 (set for release later this year) end up as the only recordings from this lineup. I guess you never know, though – the next version could very well be as revelatory as the current one.



First Listen: Dolli – “Wissenssoziologie EP”

Dolli is a Venezuelan post rock/ambient group, yet they appear to have a strange fascination with German/eastern European culture. Their new record is entitled the Wissenssoziologie Ep and it reminds me of artists  like Tortoise, Robin Guthrie, and Tamaryn. If you’re a fan of any of these groups, you may enjoy Dolli.

Bandcamp: http://dolli.bandcamp.com/

Featured Show of the Week

Letter to Hate City

“Not that there is a scene; there are a couple of little cliques. The film goes into that; it’s a music town, but it’s a segregated music town, with cliques of bands doing their thing and I wasn’t trying to cater to anybody. I was just trying to tell it like it is.”

–          Bob Placedirector of “Hate City”

Shot From Guns is not a professional music magazine or site; it’s a small music and entertainment blog. Nonetheless, I try to maintain some kind of formal etiquette, avoid bias and favoritism when writing and report on what I feel is newsworthy content regardless of my personal network and connections. But right now, fuck that.

I came here from Athens two and a half years ago and like many other transplants, I don’t feel directly plugged into the scene. I view it largely as an outsider and that gives me a different perspective that I feel allows me a certain edge and advantage. In the two and a half years that I’ve been here (and yes, I performed in the Atlanta “scene” while in Athens), I realized something. Atlanta is one big city full of tiny cliques and social groups. There are very few people making an honest effort to band together and create something unique as a whole.

Now I will say to the individuals out there working hard to reach out to external networks, collaborating with others on new projects and in general the people working their butts off to create something new for the entire city, I applaud your effort. I know who are and you know who you are. I’m glad you’re going out there on a limb and have a strong desire to produce something unique and novel for your city.

As for the cliques and small crews that resemble high school cheerleaders and gossip groups, go fuck yourselves. You think you’re the first band to play in front of a hundred scenesters at some “trendy” venue. You think you’re the first artist to release something on a local record label. You feel you’re superior because you were featured in the local rag of a magazine. No, you’re not. Somewhere else in a different state or country, several music artists are doing that. And people were doing it before them; it’s a process that’s been going on for years actually.

There are other people out there working their tails off to get somewhere, not only with their music, but they have a long-term vision that stands for something greater than music and entertainment. These people will continue to do what they do and I hope they are rewarded for their actions. Why? Because at the end of the day, these little cliques won’t amount to shit and you will become casualties of your own snobbish and elitist behavior.

In the movie The Town, a federal agent tells Ben Affleck’s character, “…when your code of silence finally gives way to fear of trafficking in cigarettes to prevent sexual enslavement, I just want you to know that it’s gonna be me who told you to go fuck yourself.”

I understand that few of you adhere to a code of silence, but I want you to know something. When your little clique remains stagnant and eventually perishes because you focused your efforts on excluding people from your tiny social circle – I just want you to know that it’s going to be me who told you to go fuck yourself.

{Official Video} Tyler the Creator – “Yonkers”

Tyler the Creator is a 19 year old rapper from Los Angeles and the leader of a hip hop/skate crew called OFWGKTA. I heard about him a few months ago via Pitchfork Media, but as usual I wanted to wait and evaluate the hype. I took a listen to his self-produced debut album Bastard and was blown away by what I heard.

His style reminds of Slim Shady era Eminem meeting a foul-mouthed and rambunctious MF Doom while skating in a cracked out insane asylum. I understand this an odd description, but if Tyler the Creator truly is the future of rap, we are indeed looking at an odd future.

Tyler’s new album is entitled Goblin and will be released in April. Check out the promo video for his single “Yonkers” below.

{Official Video} Little Tybee – “History”